With hundreds of millions of people mandated to stay at home globally to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19 related fraud is expected to climb as fraudsters exploit people’s fear and anxiety during these difficult times. Common scams include targeting victims via email, SMS, phone and social media, with fraudsters posing as genuine organisations, including government entities, banks, and healthcare providers, to trick victims into disclosing personal or financial information.
To counter this, UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the Central Bank of the UAE, Abu Dhabi Police, and Dubai Police launched the UAE’s first national fraud awareness campaign in April, which will run until the end of the year. Under the theme #TogetherAgainstFraud, the joint initiative aims to educate and protect consumers from financial cybercrime and fraud, particularly in light of the increased use of digital banking services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The banking sector’s digital transformation and widespread implementation of online solutions has increased both the complexity and magnitude of financial fraud and cybercrime across the globe,” says AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation.
“This is a serious threat to society that must be addressed, particularly under these challenging circumstances where fraudsters have become increasingly sophisticated taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty created by the outbreak of the pandemic.
“With the launch of this joint campaign we not only aim to equip the public with the knowledge and resources they need to protect themselves from fraud, but also disrupt the criminal networks that are targeting UAE residents. This can only be achieved if we work together, and on behalf of UBF, I would like to thank the Central Bank of the UAE, Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police and our member banks for their continued support and collaboration. By better preparing banks and customers for the future, we are securing a better future for the entire nation.
“Since one of UAE Banks Federation’s strategic goals is to reduce fraud across the country, this initiative underpins our will and readiness to tackle fraud and cybercrime, and strengthen our collaborative efforts alongside our partners to combat this threat to society, adopting best practices to safeguard customers against fraud, and focusing on different topics every month,” says Al Ghurair.
“The fight against fraud can only be won if we work together, and since the beginning of the #TogetherAgainstFraud campaign, we have significantly reduced the number of some types of fraud cases across the country with the support of the Central Bank of the UAE and our partners. By better preparing banks and customers for the future, we are securing a better future for the entire nation,” adds Al Ghurair.